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Most people think of being limited as a negative, but not God. Another way of saying you are limited is you were created on purpose and for a purpose. Your limits are restrictive but they also highlight your unique gifting. Others have what you don’t and you have what others don’t.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Psalm 139:14 NIV
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
God Made You Limited
You can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be more of who God made you to be. God has already done the hard work of creating you exactly as He wants you to be. You need to discover who you are, not create who you want to be. The mapping of your DNA determines how your body will grow. Likewise, the mapping of your identity (God’s design for you) determines your personality. Your purpose flows out of your identity.
To be human and have a personality is to be limited. As a believer, trying to be someone you are not is exhausting and ultimately impossible. You don’t have to make up who you are or wonder if you are inferior. Unhealthy comparison means believing you’re not good enough and you should be like someone else. Healthy comparison allows you to see how you’re different and value the differences. Uniqueness creates value.
Being limited simply means you have definition. If you weren’t limited, you’d be God. You’d have every ability God has. But even God is limited. He can’t be evil. Limited doesn’t have to mean incapable or impotent; it can mean intentional focus.
You Have a Purpose Just Like Jesus
Jesus’s primary identity and purpose is to reveal who God is. Jesus is human; He has a personality. Jesus is also God and when we see Jesus, we see all that God is, too (John 14:9).
Jesus prioritized the time He had on earth. For example, because Jesus is also God, He could express perfect athletic ability. He could have come to earth to be a pro athlete, but He didn’t because that’s not His purpose.
By becoming a person and following God’s will, Jesus limited himself in many ways so He could remain focused on completing His mission. To limit attention is to focus. Jesus limited His ministry to what God purposed for Him. He didn’t try to be everything to everybody; He stayed focused on His purpose. Following are several scriptures that define Jesus’s focus.
So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.John 5:19 ESV
Jesus answered, “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”John 18:37 NIV
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,Luke 4:17-19 ESV
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Knowing Your Limits Helps You Know God’s Will
If you can accept your limits, they will lead you to your unique gifts. What you can’t do highlights all the more what you can do. You can’t be anything you want to be, but you can be more of exactly who God made you to be. Jesus has His purpose and you have yours. Focusing on who God made you to be maximizes your potential. You’ll fulfill God’s will.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.